Sunday, June 24, 2007

Joey's Badfinger Biography?
"You don't know me, what's on my mind
You can't show me, what I can't find"
Lyrics from "I Don't Mind"
I have never been one to criticize Joey Molland for any delay in his claimed projects. But I believe the time has come, on the heels of yet another bizarre book announcement, to finally address the unrealized declarations of Joey and Kathie Molland. And this is especially timely with the 10-year anniversary of the release of "Without You: The Tragic Story Of Badfinger."

On May 7, 2007, City At Night Magazine published an interview with Joey. In that article Joey states that his autobiography, “When I Was A Boy,” is set to be released by a major publisher (actually "Golden Treasures," heard of that one?). However, the reporter paraphrases Joey by saying this book has been delayed: "…delayed because of an auto accident which threatened the life of Joey’s and Kathie’s son, Joe. He reports the welcome news that Joe has made a great, hard-fought recovery and is back full force, playing guitar and writing music, which Joey is now producing." Let me see if I have this straight: Kathie announced in January 2006 that Joe Jr. had made a full recovery, from a car accident that occurred in 2005. Yet the book is still delayed in May 2007 due to this accident? This makes absolutely no sense, especially since the book was supposedly finished in 2003. This is just the latest of the weird travails in the story of Joey's Badfinger books.

Murray Silver
Joey may have toyed with book ideas as early as the 1980s, but he never made them public. His first publicized book idea dates from the early 1990s, and was mentioned by him in 2004 when answering why he didn't participate in the book Matovina was writing. Joey: "I told (Dan Matovina) I was looking into having a biography done by a biographer well known at that time for his work on the Jerry Lee Lewis bio, "Great Balls of Fire". I thought that would be the way to go for a first class book on our band. His name is Murray Silver." Whether or not Joey ever spoke with Silver is unclear, but the author's essential contribution to "Great Balls Of Fire" was to organize the information provided by Myra Lewis, the teen bride of Jerry Lee. Silver has since published at least two books; one about the Ghosts Of Savannah (complete with a speaking tour) and his recent spiritual Elvis endeavor. A review of this most recent book, titled “When Elvis Meets the Dalai Lama,” sounds right up Joey’s alley: "…this book is a mess of memories that are wildly fantastical and probably falsely recalled. I've actually spoken to some of the parties mentioned in the book, such was my curiosity, and they laugh off the tales as ‘another one of Murray's bids for attention.’" The reviewer also eludes to Silver’s penchant for UFOs, ghosts, and a conspiracy theory that Elvis was murdered. Silver is difficult to contact for comment, reportedly he's in hiding due to the black helicopters that are hunting for him.

John Einarson
The next possible Joey author was Einarson in 1995. More than any other candidate, Einarson is the most accomplished writer with impressive credentials. He and Joey agreed to the idea, and he later interviewed Joey for a piece in Mojo Magazine. According to an email posted at the book website, Einarson wrote to Matovina: "Frankly, after reading your book, I'm very glad I didn't pursue the project as you have done a wonderful job and I may have ended up leaning on the Mollands' rather skewed version of history a bit too much." Einarson also said his conversations with Joey were revealing, in that: "He wasn't very flattering about you (Matovina), I must say, but obviously that was tempered by his concern about how he would be portrayed and he had much to hide." Interesting that Einarson concluded that Joey had “much to hide.” At any rate, Einarson, who deals strictly with large publishing houses, found little interest among them for a Badfinger biography, so he said he passed on the project. His complete commentary can be found in the book review section at the official book website.

Keith Queensen
The next contender for Joey, starting around 1998, was Queensen, a wrongful-injury lawyer and Badfinger fan from the Minneapolis area. Queensen announced that he wanted to conduct interviews with many people for his tentatively titled book "Badfinger: For Love or Money," but ultimately barely got past Joey and Kathie. "I've found it especially interesting to talk to Kathie… When you think about it, her personal story is really pretty incredible. Here's this Midwestern girl growing up in the suburbs of Minneapolis during the 1960s who all of a sudden finds herself living in an old, medieval castle with a British rock band, hanging out with the Beatles!" A story following Kathie moving to a castle and hanging out with the Beatles? Extremely peripheral and fanciful, Queensen was obviously confused about what constitutes a biography of a rock band. But unsurprising since he considered Kathie a “principal” within Badfinger: "I am personally saddened by the intensity of the negative feeling between the various Badfinger "camps" (for example, Mike referring to Kathie Molland as the "anti-christ") and hope that some day the principals in the Badfinger story will be friends again..." Queensen never realized his hopes, and passed away in 2004.

Michael Cimino
Next comes Cimino, a webmaster who operates a periodical called "Cottage Views." Cimino (or "Chimino" according to Kathie) first announced his project in 1999, and then suggested it would be completed in 1999, and later said in 2001 that "I would have finished it already but too many cocktails, er, I mean, distractions got in the way." As of 2007, there is no sign of this book. Cimino has been a long-winded critic of the Without You book, reviewing it in 1998 with: "...by elevating guitarist Pete Ham, who tragically committed suicide in 1974, to near-saintly status, the importance of the band's collective clout is dismissed..." One might assume that this "biographer" has since learned that Ham died in 1975. Part of Cimino's irk may be grounded in jealousy, considering himself to be Badfinger's biographer. In a comment posted on VH1’s website, the day after its "Behind The Music" episode on Badfinger aired, Cimino lambasted the network: "…Did these oversights occur because Mr. Matovina was creative consoltant to the show? If so, that puts Mr. Matovina on the same level as Stan Polley because Mr. Matovina has an interest in the Ham demo discs and receives a royalty from them...
p.s. how come I wasn't contacted for your show?"


Perhaps they'll contact him next time around - assuming he does something relevant in the meantime.

Billy James
Last comes James, an author with proper credentials. James has been a mystery since he was first mentioned around 2001. He does not post on guestbooks or make announcements on websites, thereby keeping a rather low profile. Joey announced in December 2003: "'When I was a boy' is in fact finished as a story. I delivered the book to Billy James in August, 2003. I am at present re-writing the manuscript into a more narrative form as I think it will be a more enjoyable and comprehensible read. I've completed around 70 pages, Hand written, Legal Pad size, and have about 100/150 pages to go." It is the James book that is allegedly delayed now - four years later - due to a car accident that ocurred two years ago. A person answering the phone at Golden Treasures (the "major publisher" which operates out of someone's home) said this month that the book won't be out until at least 2008.

As I said in the opening, I have withheld criticism of the Mollands for faulty book announcements up till now because the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. But when they go awry again and again and again, after announcement after anouncement after announcement, and then claim ancient events are slowing current projects, it becomes comical. This has been going on continuously for more than 10 years now, and there is no end in sight.

My conclusion: Some authors are never contacted (Silver), legitimate authors don't know what to do with the wild and unsupported Molland claims (Einarson), lesser authors just run with whatever the Mollands tell them (Queensen), and they end up with nonsensical mulch that publishers will not touch (Cimino).

Sorry, Badfinger fans, but don't lose any sleep waiting for another Badfinger biography.

20 comments:

Warren Jeffrey Motter said...

Always loved Badfinger's music and saw Joey perform at the 2006 Hippiefest I attended. So, when attending a Gerry And The Pacemakers concert, this past week, I was pleasantly surprised to find that a 1986-1987 Badfinger member - Jeff Ross - was a member of the Pacemakers, and he and the band did two Badfinger songs. To learn more about what Jeff is doing, go to his myspace page. (By the way, if anyone has pics or recordings of Badfinger from the 1986-1987 period, I'd love to know about it.) Rock On!

Warren Jeffrey Motter, award-winning vocalist/songwriter
www.myspace.com/warrenjeffreymotter

Anonymous said...

Why did you remove my comment?
I provided my name for your criteria.
You apparently are just as close
minded as the rest, Bill.
Lindy

ßill said...

Here's the deal, "Lindy"...

You quoted a person with a purported 'fact,' which so happens to originate with the very same person who has made all sorts of false statements about me. Since I know he is wrong (or at worst, lying) about me, that causes me to reject what he says about others.

The articles I write for this blog are referenced to their sources. I quote people who are trustworthy and stand by their words. I allow this comments section as a courtesy for those who disagree with me to take me to task. It is not a bully pulpit for unsubstantiated rumor. That sort of nonsense floats best on Yahoo.

Anonymous said...

I do happen to agree that
no book is forthcoming...
and since this isn't even
in Dan's book, can anyone
clue me in on why Mike G.
left the band in '73? Do
you know Bill?
Thanks.
James

ßill said...

Mike quit for a while in May 1972, which lasted throughout one American tour. He rejoined the band when they got back to England. According to Mike and Gaynor, he was bored and frustrated with the group at the time (especially Tom) and wanted to try something on his own. All of this is in the book, beginning on page 174. If he quit in 1973, I am unaware of it. Maybe someone else will know.

Gina said...

Thank you thank you thank you for your extremely well made site concerning the Badfinger legacy. I only found it yesterday so I have a long way to go, but realizing there are people out there who feel the same way I do about the Mollands is good to know. I'm slowly getting through Without You. I am completely engrossed but as I get further in I realize what's coming and it's almost too painful to read.

Badfinger has been in my life since I was little although I didn't really know much about them. I remember walking through a shopping area with my older sister around 1982 (I was born in 1975, 2 months after Petera) and Day After Day came on the loudspeaker. I remember thinking that the guitar and piano sounded like they were crying. Right after that the radio announcer mentioned Pete Ham and that he had killed himself. I didn't know what that meant but I always loved that song.

Not knowing him or Tom personally, I still get a great sense of what they were like as people, and I would love to have known them, Pete especially. Not knowing Kathie and Joey personally, I also get a sense of what they are like as people, and I guarantee I wouldn't give them a second of my time. Polley is inexcusable and should be locked up for the rest of his life, but almost as sleazy are Kathie and Joey, 1 for riding Pete for any amount of exposure he got and Joey didn't (i.e. the George Harrison "showcase" which compelled him to write an entire song about it) and 2 for happily taking the Grammy for composing Without You. The picture of him grinning like an idiot and poor Tom's son looking like he's about to cry on stage...He deserves any misfortune he gets. Pete and Tom's families should have been up there, period. I'm surprised Kathie didn't insist SHE wrote the whole thing herself!

Calling anything he does "Badfinger" is like Paul McCartney touring as "The Beatles". It's not, and never will be. The sould of Badfinger died with Tom and Pete.

Joey and Kathie-Go on and tour your chili cook offs and air shows, but every day you speak maliciously against Pete, Tom, Dan, and their families is another floor your elevator to Hell will be stopping at before you get to the bottom with Stan Polley.

ßill said...

Although at times I feel as though I am the Mollands' harshest critic, I am reminded that I am not.

Personally, I think Joey has every right to tour and record as Badfinger if he wishes. If Pete, Tom or Mike were still alive and they wished to do the same, then that would be a problem. But they are gone and Joey definitely has an unchallenged claim to the name. And I've never been particularly bent out of shape regarding Joey, Mike and Bill receiving an ASCAP award for "Without You." They were invited by the organization to attend and to receive an award, and they accepted. I see it more as an ASCAP snafu that should have been corrected.

But regarding the sleaze factor, well... I know what I have read and I trust what I have heard. As each day progresses since the book was first published in 1997, the comments found in it are further verified by the actions of the Mollands. They were portrayed with absolute precision.

Gina said...

Gina said...
I can only speak for myself, but I don't think I'm a "nobody", but I am greatly appreciating all of the information on this website. I'm a college graduate, happily married, own a home, steady job, etc. I just happen to believe that the Mollands are quite good at reinventing history, and for them to have never read Without You and still criticize, well, how do they have ANY credibility? I have nothing against Joey's contributions to the music world. While Pete Ham is one of my favorite singers/songwriters, I don't deny Joey's role in Badfinger and his talent. I married a musician, so I know that all true musicians are linked, whether they play classical or rock and roll. But knowing the music world intimately, I also feel the betrayal that the Ham and Evans camps have gone through because of Joey and Kathie (and anyone else who took advantage of Badfinger). I have often thought about what role the Beatles could have played in possibly saving Badfinger from their undeserved fate. The more I learn about their role in Apple though, the more I realize that they probably were aware of very little of what was happening to their "baby".

On another note, I agree with you that the ASCAP awards were botched in-house, but just because Joey, Bill, Mike etc. didn't acknowledge that there was a big mistake made doesn't mean they weren't still even more wrong for not being the big person and saying, "Look, this is an error, let's have Pete and Tom's heirs revel in this honor". No, they were adults, full well knowing that a mistake had been made, and STILL grabbed the undeserved spotlight.

I don't feel protective towards people I have never met very often. As far as musicians go, however, there are two: Kate Bush and Pete Ham. Probably because they are/were one of a kind, easily misunderstood, and easily taken advantage of in the mainstream. I also have been fans of theirs since I was a preteen-teen and at 32, still feel just as deeply about their gifts.

I wonder if any of Good Charlotte's or Britney Spears' fans feel the need to defend their loyalty this extensively?

Gina said...

Thank you, Bill for collating so much information and letting people with any common sense and compassion understand the story themselves. I was amazed at how many Badfinger associates Dan was able to interview to get the full story. Of course Joey would never portray himself or Yoko...I mean Kathie negatively. But come on, he knew and has always known what the right thing to do was and still refuses to do it. Why should Pete and Tom's children have accepted the ASCAP? Because they are the survivors of the two men WHO WROTE IT. Nothing, I mean NOTHING positive has come of the creation of Badfinger outside of the music and the friends and family who loved them who are forever connected. The rest of the legacy is one of tragedy and a seemingly limitless supply of underhandedness. So what better way to honor the composers of Without You than by putting aside the greed, the lawyers, the fame grubbing than to have their children accept the award. Oh, and let them speak. It could have been one shining moment in the story. But we all know what really happened.

I do wish that Dan's book is turned into a movie so that the world can be reminded of (or introduced to) Badfinger's music. Unfortunately, it's probably a hard sell. Studios like movies with happy endings, and their story certainly has never had one.

ßill said...

You said: "I was amazed at how many Badfinger associates Dan was able to interview to get the full story."

Yes, both associates and actual parties. Overwhelming amounts of corroboration amongst people who barely knew - or have never known - each other. I have rarely seen such source foundation in other biographies.

And yes, I believe this is about as close as any author can get to the "full story." Of course there will be minor items missed here and there, but nothing earth shaking.

The Mollands have nothing of relevance to add to the book. If they did, they would have blurted it out during the millions of opportunities they've had over the past decades. They haven't. Instead, Kathie Molland and a couple like-minded lunatics are twisting evidence into pretzels in their quest to undermine the book and its author. Only blithering idiots could possibly give her any credence.

gebateie said...

Bill you wrote:

"And yes, I believe this is about as close as any author can get to the "full story." Of course there will be minor items missed here and there, but nothing earth shaking."

Can I ask you, were you there? Of course you weren't but some of us were and I can assure you that MAJOR items were missed and would be certainly earth shaking. Now I wonder why the author didn't mention them.....ask yourself....was it in his interests not to???

ßill said...

You are who? And you were where and when?

Any anonymous person can make such a claim. If you were actually near the band at some crucial moment and are privy to some important information, identify yourself and say what that information is. Otherwise you are just blowing smoke. You haven't offered anything that can be examined for accuracy; just innuendo.

The book quotes people who are identified, their information is corroborated by other witnesses, and they all stand by their words. They don't pop up as pseudonyms and insinuate vague hidden truths but fail to elaborate what they are. That's baloney.

Yes, I said: "Of course there will be minor items missed here and there, but nothing earth shaking." I know this is correct because the Mollands have had millions of opportunities to offer up their alleged "truths" but have failed to add anything substantive to what is already presented in the book. There is nothing valuable to be added.

gebateie said...

Excuse me, did I mention the Mollands? I most certainly did not......I rather think that was you!

ßill said...

You referenced something I said in relation to the Mollands, so I responded in kind. I reiterate, you remain unidentified and have added no new data. There's nothing to discuss.

gebateie said...

I merely disagreed with your profound statement.....how brave you are.

Mind you don't choke with all that smoke I'm blowing.......ever heard of the saying 'there's no smoke without fire'?

ßill said...

"I merely disagreed with your profound statement.....how brave you are."

No you didn't. You insinuated you were an insider and had inside special knowledge. I called you on that and you didn't deliver.

"Mind you don't choke with all that smoke I'm blowing.......ever heard of the saying 'there's no smoke without fire'?"

Speaking of clichés, ever heard of the one that goes: Put up or shut up?

gg said...

Hey Bill, Give me your padded cell address so I can mail you $5.00 you keep crying about. See ya Kumbaya Kid

ßill said...

Enjoy your Nashville CD. And you should check out Plan 9 From Outer Space. That might be up your artistic alley as well.

bugbillday said...

I agree with you there Bill, gebateie should make good the knowledge to everybody. From what I've heard they are waiting for the new real truth web site which I hear is named "Badfinger: Without You-The Tragic Book of Matovina", I wonder if you will insult her then? I would just like to correct something, there is plenty to discuss, you are just upset because you don't know what it is. We are all looking forward to the new year.

ßill said...

"I agree with you there Bill, gebateie should make good the knowledge to everybody."

I'm all ears.

"From what I've heard they are waiting for the new real truth web site which I hear is named "Badfinger: Without You-The Tragic Book of Matovina", I wonder if you will insult her then?"

Sure, why not.

"I would just like to correct something, there is plenty to discuss, you are just upset because you don't know what it is."

I'm not upset about anything. I'm looking forward to any unsubstantiated lunacy you have to offer. I'll just rip it to shreds with the facts.

"We are all looking forward to the new year."

Should I hold my breath? Nah.